Cloth of Gold – Master Hunter - Sunday 3rd April 2011

This was the first time that most of us have shot this round, it isn’t an easy round, although it’s 3D’s, they are generally quiet deviously hidden behind solid things like trees, or through some very small ‘windows’ in the trees branches! There are no medals for the round, you have to attain a certain score for your bow style (and it’s a high score!) to win a Master Hunter Patch. 36 Targets, an arrow each from the red, then white peg. So 2 arrows a target, with 15 for a kill and 10 for a wound. I’ll tell you how we did a little later in the report.

Twelve Westcott Archers met at Cloth of Gold’s tea tent for breakfast, on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, at their new shooting ground at Gaddesdon Manor. We were finally going to get to shoot in one of the small woods that we had worked so hard to lay for the NFAS Nationals last year. Only this time we got our wish of seeing the wood laid with 3D’s – most definitely it’s most attractive targets.

Cloth of Gold had laid a very challenging course, and having the twelve of us spread out over only 3 or 4 groups, we spent the day in great company, with lots of banter.

Our hosts, unable to shoot the wood with their bows, had decided to have a photo competition instead, and one of the Marshall’s, thinking we looked quiet a sedate lot, decided he’d spend the day ‘shooting’ us (brave man Dave, first impressions are often wrong!). Our group was made up of Adrian, John P, Karen, Pete and myself (Marshall Dave can be forgiven for thinking we were the quiet group, when Hugh, John, Terry and Fred where in the other larger Westcott group).

We had two rather amusing comedy moments this shoot, one simply had to be entitled ‘What Adrian did next’, and the other, I’m afraid, was an ‘oopps’ by the whole of our team. But I like to hold the suspense, so read on…

We had a great days shooting, and it was fun to have our own marshall, as we came to rely on him finding the next target while we were scoring. Only he did this quiet naturally, so when we followed him in to camp for lunch, we were quiet surprised to see that the group behind, which had MarkB in it, hadn’t come in, but had carried on! When Dave came out of the loo, he looked startled to see us. ‘Have you shot that one then?’ he said. ‘No’ we cheerfully chorused, ‘have a cup of tea’. And so here is the ‘ooopps’… instead of carrying on to the last peg before lunch, where he thought he’d left us heading to, we’d followed him – as we had been doing all morning – as he went off for a comfort break! Of course we went back and shot that last one, before we took on the afternoons shooting – and the very steep hills that were the next few pegs! Oops!

What were MarkB’s group laughing at so loudly all day? They sounded like they were having a hilarious time. It turned out that the compound guys were shooting the flatbow guys nocks off! A little extra challenge to add to the brilliant shots laid out!

So I suppose I’d better tell you what Adrian did do next?

Walking up to peg 19, we spotted the very cleverly placed badger 3D, coming out of a real badgers set, across a deep crater, and about 10 foot above us. Adrian prepares his shot, and kills it good, to a big cheer from his fellow group members. We thought the gaggle of marshalls that suddenly appeared were also shouting their congratulations on a superb shot. No! He was supposed to be shooting the little fella just under the tree a few feet away! Shame coz it was the shot of the day, a real beauty. John and Hugh said that that was the shot that they would have loved to have taken too! Good shooting Ad, and also bad luck!

Marshall Dave took hundreds of photos of us, and is going to put them on a CD for me, so as soon as I have it, I’ll get them up on the bottom of this report. He was also later heard to say, (with a laugh) ‘that’s the last time I volunteer to marshall a Westcott group around. They’re bonkers!’.

Thank you Dave and Cloth of Gold, it was a great course to start the year on, and a special thanks to my group, who made it such a lovely day out in the woods. I hope you all had as much fun as I did.

How we did....(* denotes Master Hunter Patch achieved)

Janice Bradfield 08.04.11.